February 18, 1934 - November 17, 1992

47 Greatest Quotes By Audre Lorde

It is axiomatic that if we do not define ourselves for ourselves, we will be defined by others-for their use and to our detriment. Audre Lorde
It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. Audre Lorde
We are all in the process of becoming. Audre Lorde
People in markets find a way of getting down to the essentials of I have, you want; you have, I want. Audre Lorde
There are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt. Audre Lorde
Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat. Audre Lorde
The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. Audre Lorde
There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives. Audre Lorde
Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me. Audre Lorde
Institutionalized rejection of difference is an absolute necessity in a profit economy which needs outsiders as surplus people. Audre Lorde
I have died too many deaths that were not mine. Audre Lorde
Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare. Audre Lorde
One pays a lot, we all pay a lot, for awareness. Audre Lorde
Each time you love, love as deeply as if it were forever. Audre Lorde
When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak. Audre Lorde
I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. Audre Lorde
Unless one lives and loves in the trenches, it is difficult to remember that the war against dehumanization is ceaseless. Audre Lorde
In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction. Audre Lorde
Our visions begin with our desires. Audre Lorde
I forgot what we were celebrating. Because we were always celebrating something, a new job, a new poem, a new love, a new dream. Audre Lorde
In discussions around the hiring and firing of Black faculty at universities, the charge is frequently heard that Black women are more easily hired than are Black men. Audre Lorde
Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge. Audre Lorde
Black women sharing close ties with each other, politically or emotionally, are not the enemies of Black men. Audre Lorde
When you reach out and touch other human beings, it doesn't matter whether you call it therapy or teaching or poetry. Audre Lorde
If I cannot air this pain and alter it, I will surely die of it. That's the beginning of social protest. Audre Lorde
You are the one that you are looking for. Audre Lorde
When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. Audre Lorde
But the true feminist deals out of a lesbian consciousness whether or not she ever sleeps with women. Audre Lorde
Anger is loaded with information and energy. Audre Lorde
Attend me, hold me in your muscular flowering arms, protect me from throwing any part of myself away. Audre Lorde
Tomorrow belongs to those of us who conceive of it as belonging to everyone; who lend the best of ourselves to it, and with joy. Audre Lorde
I was going to die, if not sooner, then later, whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. Audre Lorde
Art is not living. It is the use of living. Audre Lorde
Oppressed peoples are always being asked to stretch a little more, to bridge the gap between blindness and humanity. Audre Lorde
...and that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength. Audre Lorde
Divide and conquer must become define and empower. Audre Lorde
It's a struggle but that's why we exist, so that another generation of Lesbians of color will not have to invent themselves, or their history, all over again. Audre Lorde
Oppression is as American as apple pie. Audre Lorde
If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive. Audre Lorde
Part of the lesbian consciousness is an absolute recognition of the erotic within our lives and, taking that a step further, dealing with the erotic not only in sexual terms. Audre Lorde
In other words, I would be giving in to a myth of sameness which I think can destroy us. Audre Lorde
The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot. Audre Lorde
I find I am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some one aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self. Audre Lorde
Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now. Audre Lorde